David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Compensation Claim PC 'Should Not Be Vilified' says Police Federation

The Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales has spoken out against the “vilification” of an officer who considered launching a compensation claim against a victim of crime after tripping over a kerb while responding to a burglary call.

In a statement, Steve Williams (pictured) said that the action – launched by Norfolk PC Kelly Jones – had “understandably caused widespread debate”. He also pointed out that it had impacted on the wider reputation of the Police Service, and that the staff association needed to examine how it provided advice to members.

The Chairman’s comments came as Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett said that the news of the claim – which relates to a call to a garage in Thetford – had “left him cold”. He said the officer had gone “a step too far” and urged her to immediately reverse her action.

"I will be seeking a full report into the circumstances from the chief constable and I expect to be having a conversation with the Norfolk Police Federation,” he added.

But Mr Williams stressed that officers were not compensated by their forces for injuries received on duty – and that the wider public needed to understand that they could lose money through reductions in pay and allowances.

Injury could also affect promotion prospects and opportunities for specialisation.

Mr Williams said: “Let me be clear – to vilify this female officer is wrong.

“She took legal advice as to how she could claim back some of her lost earnings as a result of the injury, and at this stage no formal proceedings have taken place.

“She has been supported by my own organisation, the Police Federation, who have agreed to fund her on a conditional fee basis should the matter progress.”

Mr Williams said that the Fed needed to look at “processes and structures” on how it provided advice, claiming that PC Jones had not been prepared for the “wider personal impact” that could arise from her making a compensation claim.

The Chairman added: “The Police Federation’s structure is being independently reviewed and no doubt how we continue to provide advice in the round for our members will be examined as a result of this unusual case.

“I must underline that our local Federation representative in Norfolk worked tirelessly under the spotlight of the national and local media, advising and assisting PC Jones in every way that he could. However, it will be clear to all that this very quickly became a national policing issue beyond the local remit.

“While PC Jones may be an easy target as she is one individual within a media storm, for me it is the Police Federation that needs to be mindful of the widespread public and member perception that has arisen out of this claim.”

But the Police and Crime Commissioner said that the action had led to public anger. Mr Bett said: "As the public representative for policing in Norfolk, I share the concerns of those who have questioned the actions of this officer

"I believe she should withdraw her legal action as soon as possible. In my mind, that would be the right thing to do and, judging from what people have been telling me, what the public would want to see.”

Article Courtesy of - Cliff Caswell - www.policeoracle.com

1 comment:

annettesblog said...

I agree, she shouldn't do that.